One of Canada’s best-known food writers has recently released a new book — and it’s a must for anyone planning a trip to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.
Food Artisans of the Okanagan: Your Guide to the Best Locally Crafted Fare by Canadian food writer Jennifer Cockrall-King, features more than 125 “culinary craftspeople.”
Beekeepers, brewmasters, cheesemakers, farmers, bakers, chcolatiers, fishmongers and millers are just a few of the food artisans that Cockrall-King tracked down for her book, which is in stores now.
(Ask for it at your favourite bookstore, or buy it here.)
The idea for the book came about after a similar guide to Vancouver Island was published a few years ago. The publisher could see the potential for something similar in the Okanagan Valley and approached Cockrall-King, who splits her time between Edmonton and the Okanagan.
To come up with the list of people to include, Cockrall-King made lists of her own local favourites, plus those recommended by fellow food lovers and food producers.
“There are just so many cool people here quietly going about their business and growing or making these incredible products,” she says.
“It was just a pleasure to meet them, and to hear about people who are so excited about what they are doing.”
She visited every recommended place, meeting with people and asking questions to see if they met her criteria for what she wanted to see in the book.
Every person that she included, for instance, had to literally be hands-on, using their hands to make the product.
And that product, well, it had to be one that Cockrall-King liked to eat. Or drink.
“People can be really dedicated. They can work hard to make a hand-made, hand-crafted, interesting unique product,” she says.
“But at the end of the day, it has to taste good.”
With that in mind, here are a few of Cockrall-King’s suggestions.
Keeping in the Drink with Me theme, we are only focusing on craft brewers, coffee roasters and distillers (watch for it!) here, but Cockrall-King’s book contains much more than just those three categories.
And yes, she says, there may be future editions of the book, as new players emerge on the scene.